The Los Angeles Lakers sit just three wins away from their first NBA championship in 10 years, and will look to repeat a dominant performance against the Miami Heat in Game 2.
After a slow start in Game 1, where the Lakers trailed 23-10 about six minutes into the quarter, L.A. stormed back in a huge way, going on an absurd 75-30 run. Perhaps their best two quarters of the entire postseason, the Lakers showed just how dominant they can be.
However, the Lakers big takeaway is their “collapse” in the fourth, where a 26-point lead was cut in half. It led LeBron James to warn his team about the dangers of getting too comfortable after one game, as the same thing happened to him with the Heat in 2011.
Against the Dallas Mavericks, the Heat won Game 1 convincingly and then dropped four of the next five to lose the Finals in six games.
Perhaps that run by the Heat will force the Lakers to come out strong in Game 2. Originally, it was thought that Dwight Howard needed to be removed from the starting lineup after a poor showing the the first six minutes.
However, strong minutes to begin the second half likely allowed him to retain his spot. L.A. will need to be prepared for the Heat, who will undoubtedly be bringing their best game on Friday night.
They want to prove that they can hang with the Lakers in a series, much like the Denver Nuggets did in the Conference Finals. A buzzer-beating three from Anthony Davis saved that series from becoming 1-1, but they’ll want to avoid needing that in this one.
The Heat will have to do without Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo, who are both listed as doubtful for Game 2 but reports indicate neither will play. Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia in his foot, and Adebayo strained his neck.
Dragic and Adebayo bring immense value to the Heat. Dragic is the team’s second leading scorer during the postseason, after Jimmy Butler, while Adebayo is their best defender and the anchor for their entire game plan.
Lakers (1-0) vs. Heat (1-0)
6:00 p.m. PT, Oct. 2, 2020
ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Florida
Radio: 710 AM ESPN L.A.
Projected Lakers starting lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Dwight Howard
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, Markieff Morris
Projected Heat starting lineup:
PG: Kendrick Nunn
SG: Duncan Robinson
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Kelly Olynyk
Key Reserves: Tyler Herro, Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill
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